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Join now to clean up: MD

NOW is an excellent time to join a franchise and avoid GST on your franchise fees, says VIP managing director Glenn McDowall.

VIP Corporate and Home Services went through an encouraging growth period following purchase by Mr McDowall and partner Sara Clowes in 1997.

The pair then decided to buy Finishing Touch car detailing services in October 1998 to form a group arrangement, “although both companies are separate legally”.

Both companies were in serious financial trouble when bought.

“With VIP, we streamlined the company down to two primary areas: lawnmowing and gardening,” Mr McDowall said. “We found we used to be too diversified and needed to focus the company.

“We have the corporate division and the home division of VIP, and corporate cleaning is definitely an exciting growth area.

“There was a niche in the market — a lot of companies in a similar line of business used to do primarily council work — and we filled the gap.”

Finishing Touch recently redesigned and re-branded its corporate identity and experienced considerable growth as a result.

“We found that turnaround was necessary,” Ms Clowes said.

“A company is often judged on who is the worst operator, so if you’ve got someone on your team who you don’t really want, it’s probably best to get rid of them.

“Because what we are searching for is a uniform standard, so when a customer calls and asks for a car to be detailed, they are sure the job will be to the same standard as the last time.”

Mr McDowall said the companies have plans to expand to the eastern states and overseas in the next three years.

“We are looking at Albany and Bunbury and there are exciting opportunities up north —but we’re not yet home and dry,” he said.

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